Jesus is on Twitter. Wall Street's, Trinity Church has taken to "tweeting" the Passion of the Christ this Easter season. Using 140 characters or less is definitely a new way to tell the story of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This innovative use of digital technology is not new to the church, which has made use of web casting since the late 1990s. The church has invited people to, "travel the Stations of the Cross online and be part of a worldwide audience - via cell phone, Blackberry, iPhone, or other Internet connection - for what may be the world's first Passion Play performed through the social networking application Twitter."
I attended a parochial school when I was younger, where the Stations of the Cross or Via Dolorosa were a meditative Lenten experience. It was also a time consuming experience. As a student, I would never say it was boring but maybe it was not the best way to teach about the meaning of the holy season. With the advent of the iPhone and other distractions, this is an intelligent way to get and maybe hold the attention of the younger generation.
What Trinity Church has done is find a way to connect an older medium - the literal book of the Bible with new media - in the form of Twitter. I sat in on a recent webinar where new media experts spoke about the "willingness to experiment" and having "meaning." For believers and non-believers alike a new conversation is brewing about what technology is doing to religion.
In the April 13th issue of Newsweek, editor Jon Meacham wrote an article entitled, "The End of Christian America." In the article he writes about "an old term with new urgency: post-Christian. This is not to say that the Christian God is dead, but that he is less of a force in American politics and culture than at any other time in recent memory." Though, this blog entry deviates from many of the issues he brings up, I would like to point out that the cultural reaction to God is changing. If conservative Christians feel that they are losing members and that the attitude of Americans towards the Church is spiraling towards the negative it would behoove them to consider the use of different technologies to reach new audiences.
Jennifer 8. Lee's blog entry on the New York Times provides some biblical text and the tweet translations.